Google Search


11/5/19

NATIONAL ISSUES




Fax legislators for free:

Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/

Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/



IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY: On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee released some of the transcripts from their closed-door Impeachment Inquiry sessions. Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified that she felt threatened when she learned that President Trump had talked about her with Ukraine President Zelensky:  https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/468872-yovanovitch-says-she-felt-threatened-by-trump-raising-her-on-call  She also testified that she was told to “tweet out support or praise for President Donald Trump if she wanted to save her job.”  https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/ousted-ukraine-ambassador-yovanovitch-says-she-was-told-tweet-praise-n1076156  Let’s be in touch with our MoC (particularly Republican ones) to say that the current state of the union is untenable and that civil servants cannot be made to feel threatened by a President who considers himself to be above the law.

NOTE TO SENATE: MOVE THESE BILLS! These wonderful bills passed by the Democratic-majority House of Representatives are languishing in McConnell’s Senate graveyard. 
H.R. 1 - For the People Act: protects and strengthens our voting rights, ethics reforms, and campaign finance laws.
H.R. 5 - Equality Act: ensures explicit legal protection for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
H.R. 6 - American Dream and Promise Act: permanently protects immigrant youth in allowing nearly 700,000 DACA recipients and 1.6 million eligible Dreamers to stay in the U.S.
H.R. 7 - Paycheck Fairness Act: makes equal pay a reality for all.
H.R. 582 - Raise the Wage Act: raises minimum wage to $15/hour.
H.R. 986 - Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act: prevents those with pre-existing conditions from being denied healthcare on that basis.
H.R. 1585 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act: creates and supports comprehensive, cost-effective responses to the pervasive and insidious crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
Let’s tell our Senators that we have not forgotten these bills, and we demand that they co-sponsor them and bring them to a vote. (H/t United State of Women via Indivisible Eureka Springs)

HEALTHCARE OPEN ENROLLMENT NOV. 1 - DEC 15: For those of us shopping for our own plans, HealthCare.gov and the other state exchanges are open for enrollment as of November 1.  Let's read NPR's tips for helping us choose a plan.

DEFUND HATE: CALL OUT LACK OF COURT TRANSPARENCY AND EXPANSION OF REMAIN IN MEXICO PROGRAM: As the Trump administration continues to sink to lower and lower depths, most recently by encouraging kids at the White House Halloween party to build the wall, conditions for migrants, now waiting in overcrowded conditions in dangerous cities run by drug cartels on the Mexico border, continue to worsen. The administration has recently added a sixth city (Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras), and scheduled hearings in Laredo, Texas, which is two hours away from the border. https://www.voanews.com/usa/immigration/us-adds-sixth-city-controversial-remain-mexico-program? At asylum-seeking hearings, in Brownsville, judges and government attorneys appear on video and observers are banned. Let’s make sure to read this sobering article written by immigration attorneys on the front lines and then demand to our MoCs that court transparency must be restored and this program must be stopped, not expanded. Let’s make sure to remind them that this is one of many reasons to vote against funding for ICE and CBP (Customs Border Patrol) when the budget hearings resume. 

CALL OUT GOP SENATORS FOR ACCEPTING BRIBES:  As evidence of Trump’s impeachable offenses continues to mount, the administration is trying to influence GOP Senators ahead of a probably trial by donating to their campaign funds. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/31/trump-impeachment-senators-donor-062084?. Let’s remind our GOP Senators that their role as “prospective jurors” in the case is to remain unbiased and consider the evidence fairly, and that accepting money from sources linked to the Trump campaign in return for protecting the president from impeachment is a serious breach of ethics. 

DEMAND INVESTIGATION INTO TRUMP’S REQUEST TO USE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE FOR POLITICAL PROTECTION: As if asking the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden isn’t enough, the Trump administration is now asking numerous foreign intelligence agencies to help in promoting his conspiracy theories about Russia, the Ukraine, and the role of the U.S. FBI and CIA. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry-latest-russia-mueller-ukraine-zelensky-a9181641.html. This is unconscionable, unethical, and another reason that both Trump and Barr should be impeached. Let’s make sure our MoCs know that we know about this and know where we stand. 

DISAVOW FOREIGN ELECTION INTERFERENCE:  Foreign interference in our elections is not new.  https://www.npr.org/2019/09/01/737978684/what-you-need-to-know-about-foreign-interference-and-the-2020-election  “The framers of the Constitution were very concerned about our nation’s sovereignty: they wanted America to be a place free of foreign influence, where our governance and destiny would be self-determined. . . That's why DemCast is leading an effort to get elected officials and candidates to sign this pledgewhich includes clear language about how they themselves (not Trump) intend to handle foreign meddling - including digital interference - in their own electoral efforts.”  Let’s sign this DemCast petition asking our MoCs to take this pledge:   https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/pledge-to-defend

DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE: On Wednesday, November 13th, the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) will hold a hearing regarding Dakota Access's request to double capacity of the Dakota Access Pipeline and install another pump station (https://bit.ly/36w5KJp). This hearing is being held only because a coalition of Lakota leaders, and concerned North Dakota citizens spoke out and specifically requested such a hearing before the requested expansion was considered. The Lakota People's Law Project is asking us to reach out again and tell the North Dakota PSC to say "no" to the expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, especially without conducting an environmental impact study. We can use the form available here. If we are residents of North Dakota, let's be sure to mention that in our statement to the North Dakota PSC. For those of us who are able, let's be sure to show up at the hearing at the Emmons County Courthouse in Linton, ND.

BIPARISAN BILL TO SUPPORT IMMIGRANT FARMWORKERS:  A new bill, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 4916), would “provide a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants who have already been working in the farm and agriculture industry for at least two years and plan to continue in this sector.” https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article236734643.html  MoCs, particularly in agricultural areas know the need for and the value of these workers.  Let’s as our MoCs to support this important fix in immigration law. 

HBCUs/HIGHER EDUCATION: Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have an impressive legacy in the United States: "Although HBCUs make up only 3 percent of four-year colleges in the country, they have produced 80 percent of the nation’s black judges and 50 percent of its black doctors. Among black college graduates with a degree in STEM, 27 percent are from historically black colleges. And remarkably, HBCUs have trained roughly 50 percent of black teachers," (https://bit.ly/2PNdD75). Yet even with these impressive statistics, HBCUs are at risk of dying out due to lack of funding. Let's read more about the current state of HBCUs, then, for those of us with the means, let's check to see which HBCU is closest to us, and consider setting up a recurring donation: http://www.thehundred-seven.org/hbculist.html

HELP SAVE A DEPORTEE:  A mother, Tania Romero, with stage 4 cancer is being deported.  Her son, a current student at Yale, trying to stop it.  https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2019/10/31/student-petitions-ice-to-release-mother/ We can read the press statement:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1e5kowZxn5DAuP_TNRYW_EU8dXtmtCnLs/view, then, we can 1) sign his petition:  https://action.mijente.net/petitions/ice-is-deporting-my-mother-who-is-recovering-from-stage-4-cancer?#signature-form, 2) call/email the ICE director, the Supervisory Detention and Deportation Officer, ICE Atlanta Field Office, Cesar Ciprian (Cesar.E.Ciprian@ice.dhs.gov) or (404-893-1214)  and let him know Tania Romero should be released, not deported, and 3) we can donate to his GoFundMe for his mom:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/ice-has-my-mother-still-recovering-from-cancer

FOOD INSECURITY IN AMERICA?  Friday was the last day on which to comment on the rule change eliminating Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits—that is, food stamps--for more than 3 million people;  Sonny Purdue’s Agriculture department recently admitted that this change would end free school lunch for nearly a million children, twice as many as the USDA initially said:
https://www.npr.org/2019/11/01/775078148/comment-period-ends-for-proposal-that-would-cut-snap-benefits-for-millions  Opposition has been strong—170,000 negative comments—but whether we formally commented or not, we must go on record--often and loudly--as opposed to increasing food insecurity in the wealthiest nation on earth:  USDA  (202) 720-2791 or askusda@usda.gov.

POSTCARDING GOODIES:  From one of our own:  National write-ups with links to Senate and House directories when needed are here: 
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zfYYfLdB_psY7gIwnDG16lypuoBb5s09hBPzGVb6ADc/edit?usp=sharing  THANK YOU for using these and for continuing to speak out. We all make a difference! 

SHOW OF GRATITUDE: “When Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman appeared before members of Congress on Tuesday to discuss what he knew about President Trump’s conversations with Ukraine’s president, he was violating an order from his commander in chief not to cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry.”  https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2019/10/31/how-the-army-officer-who-testified-against-trump-could-end-up-in-a-court-martial/  Vindman has not yet been charged, but it remains a possibility.  Let’s thank him for his courage and for putting his country first.  We can send postcards to: Lt Col Alexander Vindman, National Security Council, Pennsylvania Ave and 17th Street NW, Washington DC 20500

ELECTION/VOTING

VOTE!!!

TODAY, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5 IS AN ELECTION DAY IN MANY LOCATIONS:  Getting out the vote is the most important thing we can do at this point, especially our vote.  Let’s find out how making a plan can turn this into a reality:  https://politicalcharge.org/2019/10/30/make-a-plan-to-vote-3-steps-to-boost-turnout/ We can also share this basic and helpful guide as widely as possible: https://www.npr.org/2019/10/18/771360559/how-to-vote-in-an-election

PRO-CHOICE CANDIDATES: If we want to know where candidates stand on pro-choice, take a look at the #VoterProChoice voter guide:  https://www.voteprochoice.us/voter-guide.  We can use their toolkit to get the word out:  https://www.voteprochoice.us/partner-toolkit/

KY: RIDES TO THE POLLS INFORMATION FOR TODAY’S ELECTION: It’s Do or Die Kentucky! Polls are open 6 am to 6 pm TODAY Tuesday, Nov 5. A big turnout means we win, so let’s grab a friend or family member and head to the polls!  If we, or anyone we know need info on rides to the polls or have any concerns/questions/issues about voting, we can check these resources out, then share with our friends and on social media. 1) Statewide: For ride info anywhere in the state or concerns/questions/issues about voting, we can call 833-GOVOTEKY (833-468-6835).  We can also check here for ride information listed by county: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15ojLzKNzTC_5TYSRe0xKC2KhQgsTnmD7ocBztxmo8M8, 2) Louisville Area: TARC transit system in Louisville is offering free rides to the bus stop near our polling places. Just ask the driver to take us there. If we need to, we can find our polling place here: https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/ovrweb/govoteky, 3) Fayetteville County: if we are in Fayetteville County, we  can call the Fayetteville County Democratic Party at 859.268.4448 to arrange a ride. Or email them at 

WHY 5 STATES HAVE OFF-YEAR ELECTIONS. Voters in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia are set to elect either a whole slew of state lawmakers or a governor and other statewide executives or all of the above. Let's read more at  NPR to find out why.

P2V VOLUNTEER ELECTION WATCH. Postcards To Voters' volunteers will be watching the polls close. Here are the campaigns for which we wrote: a) KYCampaign 171: Slate of Democrats, from Governor to State Treasurer;  b) VACampaign 176: Herb Jones for State Senate; c) MSCampaign 177: Joe Bradford for State House (D78); d) VACampaign 178: Karen Keys-Gamarra for Fairfax County School Board; e) PACampaign 179: 5 Dems for Whitpain Township Board; f) MSCampaign 180: Wendy McDonald for State House (HD122). Let's watch the results come in!

VOTING—Most of us have someone in our lives who are new to voting. Let’s be their voting mentors by talking to them about voting, by helping them learn to vote, and by sharing with them this Life Kit Guide “How to Vote in an Election” from NPR: https://www.npr.org/2019/10/18/771360559/how-to-vote-in-an-election

UPCOMING ELECTIONS:  In order to keep track of upcoming elections, we can use this from Ballotpedia:  https://ballotpedia.org/Elections_calendar

STATE/LOCAL

GA: HELP FIND LOW INCOME GEORGIANS TO COMMENT IN FAVOR OF PARTIAL MEDICAID EXPANSION:  We didn’t get a full Medicaid Expansion, but we do have a chance for a partial version, waiver plans submitted by the Georgia Legislature last spring that could extend coverage to many low income Georgians. We need to let our legislators know how important passing these waivers are now that the public comment period on these waivers opened this week. We can help  Indivisible Georgia Coalition and 159 Georgia Together  find community members to submit comments on how expanding Medicaid could change their lives and the lives of their loved ones when we sign up here to help https://forms.gle/dgvHqeqNxv8saJ9E6 , then choose a time to attend a livestream on the Facebook page of Georgia Equality who will explain the waiver so we can be better informed:  https://www.facebook.com/events/398163897754934/

MA—PROTECTING IMMIGRANTS THROUGH THE SAFE COMMUNITIES ACT: The Safe Communities Act will “restore community trust in police by avoiding entanglement in immigration matters and protect due process for all” (see fact sheet for details:  http://miracoalition.org/images/Documents/SCA-factsheet-March2019.pdf ) There will be a public hearing at the State House on the Act on Monday, Dec 2nd, at 10AM, preceded by a rally organized by the Safe Communities Coalition at 9AM. Let’s get these events on our calendars, and let’s get updates from the Coalition by texting SAFEMA to 52886.

RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS

HOME IS HERE MARCH FOR DACA AND TPS: “To draw national attention to the current jeopardy both DACA and TPS are in, we are marching from the Statue of Liberty (New York) to the Supreme Court (D.C) to defend DACA and TPS.  Join us for our Home is Here March, starting at the Statue of Liberty on October 26 and ending in front of the Supreme Court on November 12. On November 12, when Supreme Court justices walk into the Court to begin proceedings on DACA, they will see that the majority of people in this country (83%) support undocumented immigrants and their families.”  We can learn more about the march here:  https://www.homeisheremarch.org/home and, if we cannot join in, we can follow the progress here: https://www.homeisheremarch.org/news-updates   

IMPEACHMENT/NOVEMBER RECESS: From November 2nd thru the 11th, the House will be on recess, with many representatives back in their home districts. Just like we did during their October recess, let's make sure to make impeachment a focal point during townhalls and in-person meet ups with our representatives. We can find a townhall or event near us here, or if there isn't one yet, we can register one here. Whether we can attend an event in-person or not, let's also be sure to call our not-onboard MoCs and ask them one question: Do you think it's OK to ask a foreign power to interfere in our elections? Then, let's take note of their response and share it on social media. We can find more information and toolkits at https://www.impeachnow.org/

ELECTION SECURITY RALLIES: “Election security experts are warning that too many states and localities have election systems that are vulnerable to hacking and external actors.  On Wednesday, November 13th, join activists across the country as we gather outside of Senate offices to urge our Senators to pass $600 million in election security funding and to include accountability language to ensure the money is well-spent.”  More info:  https://secureourvote.us/take-action/  Guide for hosting:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OXaQmIYBWYfb6_MFsyL3rWpB3IWojGyCcC6k8HRgcwA/edit

CLIMATE STRIKES CONTINUE:  From Future Coalition:  On Nov 29 & Dec 6, we strike again! Youth across the U.S. will lead a #ClimateStrike on Nov 29 & Dec 6 to demand legislative action to combat the climate crisis.  Strike with us!  Let’s find or host an event:  https://strikewithus.org/

IMPEACHMENT MOBILIZATION: The night before the House impeachment vote is held, a nationwide mobilization, “No One is Above the Law,” is planned. The coalition behind this effort is impressive.  Let’s click here to learn about events, how we can create one, materials to use, and more:   https://www.impeach.org/event/impeach-and-remove-attend/

READING/WATCHING

FACT CHECK: Is The Trump Impeachment Process Different From Nixon And Clinton? -  https://www.npr.org/2019/11/03/775152421/fact-check-is-the-trump-impeachment-process-different-from-nixon-and-clinton

Why Intentionally Building Empathy Is More Important Now Than Ever: Empathy can be taught and in times like these, it should be - https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/54497/why-intentionally-building-empathy-is-more-important-now-than-ever


Attorney General Barr Issues Two Decisions that Limit the Ways Immigrants can Fight Deportation -  https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/ag-barr-issues-2-decisions-limiting-ways-immigrants-can-fight-n1073026

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We can stay up to date on Congress by checking out their schedules. a) The House publishes a weekly schedule at The Weekly Leader (published and dated Friday) as well as daily schedules at The Daily Leader. b) The Senate updates their schedule daily at the Senate Floor Schedule


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.